Each month when I share a new taco recipe, you can be sure I will have a vegetarian version. That’s life with a vegetarian wife, which I’ve found rewarding on many levels.
The vegetarian challenge to a card-carrying carnivore is to produce a level experience with the dish. When I conceive a dish, flavor is the first consideration but texture is right behind it.
Texture is integral to the carnivore experience, though it’s often taken for granted. Most carnivores mistake the craving for texture as a craving for something salty.
Salt plays a role but breaking down a protein with ones teeth to earn the lucious release of natural juices is what it’s all about.
That’s why fungi and nuts are my favorite ingredients to build a vegetarian dish around.
For this, the earthy flavor and toothsome texture of shiitake mushroom matched with the chewy, sweetness of cashews were the foundation. Mirin, soy and sambal bind them together with the usual array of onions, garlic and green pepper. A little ginger in that pool draws completes the attempt to nod to Asian cuisine while maintaining it’s tacosity, which as we all know is key.
- 8 oz small shiitake mushrooms, sliced
- 1/4 cup cashews
- 1/4 white onion, sliced
- 1/4 green pepper, sliced
- 4 teaspoons sesame oil
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 knob of ginger, about a 1/2-inch by 1/2-inch, peeled
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon sambal oelek (chile sauce)
- 2-3 teaspoons soy sauce
- 1 teaspoons mirin
- 10 corn tortillas
- 2 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil
- Hoisin Crema
- Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a wok until oil begins to stir.
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